WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted Tuesday to advance a bill designed to tighten government oversight of pharmacies that custom-mix prescription drugs, in the wake of last year's deadly meningitis outbreak tied to contaminated pain injections.
The bill cleared a parliamentary hurdle on a 97-1 vote, indicating its overwhelming support in the Senate. The legislation, passed by the House in September, also creates a national system for tracking prescription drugs from manufacturers to retail pharmacies. Final passage sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature could come as early as Wednesday.
The compounding pharmacy bill is intended to prevent a repeat of last year's fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened 750 more across the U.S.